Staying Social at the Holidays -- 4 ways Gremln can help keep your marketing message strong over the holiday break

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 20, 2011

We're nearing the end of December, which means that many offices are about to hit Ghost Town status for a week or two. Between holiday time off and the last-minute usage of leftover vacation days that won't carry over into the next year, the time between Christmas and New Year's is a time of relaxation for many people.

This can be tricky for marketing departments, especially in small businesses, because the same surge of vacation time that's allowing marketers to stay home over the holidays is also giving millions of potential customers the chance to spend some quality time browsing around on social media. Many companies have strict policies about social networking, so their employees are likely to experience a little digital release from home over the end-of-year break. With so many potential customers surfing the Web, it's a prime time for marketers to shine. Here are a few ways you can keep your campaigns and promotions running, even if there's no one in the office:

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Topics: Business, business, christmas, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, holiday, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, small business, social media, tips, twitter

Which Network Works? Finding the social media network that's best for your business

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 6, 2011

According to research company Experian, approximately 91% of online American adults log on to a social network every single month. That percentage represents about 129 million Americans. That’s 129 million potential consumers your company has the ability to reach on at least a monthly basis.

Goodness. That’s a lot of people.

And that’s just in America, and just people aged 18 and over. If you’re a company with the ability to ship your product all over the world, that number rockets upward. And if your product is targeted toward teenagers as well as adults, bump that number up even higher. Frankly, it’s getting to the point where very few companies can afford to ignore the social media revolution.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are thousands upon thousands of social networks out there. Sure, we’re all pretty familiar with Facebook and Twitter. But how many of you are on hi5? Or Disaspora*? How about Heello? No? Then what about Bebo? Maybe Orkut?

The number of networks is growing at an almost daily rate, which is in direct opposition to the growth of resources in many companies’ marketing departments. While social networking options are seemingly infinite, marketers have extremely finite resources at their disposal. We can’t be on every social network all the time, so instead we have to strategically select which channels to use for our digital marketing messages. But which social networks are right for your company?

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, myspace, recommendation, ROI, social media, twitter

The Path to Glory: How to channel your social media fans through to your website

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 21, 2011

Why do you work so hard to increase your social media following? Have you ever really thought about it? I mean, really, really thought about it? When it comes down to brass tacks, what’s the actual benefit of having half a million Facebook fans? Sure, it means more potential eyes on your marketing message, but what’s the point of that? Your social media strategies aren’t living up to their full potential if your fans are just watching your social media accounts and aren’t making purchases.

Many companies don’t have the capability to sell their products directly through Facebook like Delta Airlines does, and even for those that do, there’s a drawback: Offering product sales through third-party sites necessarily results in a loss of control. While social media networks are wonderful as marketing channels, you still need to move your fans to your website to really close the deal, whether you sell your product online or not.

Your website is perhaps your greatest marketing tool. In the digital universe, your website is the sun, and your social media networks are the orbiting planets. Some people have predicted the imminent demise of the website because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not buying it, at least not yet. Not only is a website a space where many companies make their sales (or, in the case of services, a space where would-be customers can find direct communications channels and submit requests for proposals), but it is completely under control of the company that owns it. Having a Facebook page is important, but it’s also limiting. Facebook offers a pretty rigid structure from which it’s difficult to deviate. If you have the money to burn, you can hire a firm to create a Facebook tab for you that sort of resembles a real website, but no matter what you do to spruce up your page, it’s still going to take second billing to the Facebook brand.

That's why your social media isn’t working to its full potential if it’s not driving traffic to your website. Here are a few ways to help your fans and followers make that digital journey.

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, Foursquare, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media for Small Business, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 11.11.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 11, 2011

Happy 11's! We here at Gremln hope you've had a great week and that you're about to have an even greater weekend. Here are some of the social media news highlights you may have missed this week:

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, QR code, social media, Social Media News, twitter

Social Media 101: Klout

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 1, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we explore the social media influence measurement tool Klout.

Klout is a program that analyzes and scores a person’s online influence through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Klout uses a secret algorithm in order to determine the strength of each person’s sphere of influence on a scale of 0-100. A low Klout score means a lower level of influence; a higher score means a higher influential impact. Klout arrives at its score by measuring True Reach (how many people you influence), Amplification (how much you influence those people), and Network Impact (the influence of your network). The more active and responsive you are on social networks, the higher your Klout score is likely to climb.

Klout is currently able to draw social media influence variables from 12 networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and YouTube. The more networks a person links to his personal Klout page, the more accurate the Klout score becomes.

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Topics: 101, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 10.28.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 28, 2011

Happy Friday, everybody! That means we're close to the end of another work week...and it also means it's time for the weekly social media news round-up!

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

The Week in Social Media - 10.7.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 7, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Much of the world's tech news was put on hold this week as we lost one of the greatest innovators of our time, Steve Jobs. He will be sorely missed, and though it's not a story you're likely to have missed, we wanted to start off this week's recap with CNN's 5 memorable quotes from Steve Jobs.

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Topics: education, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

The Week in Social Media - 9.30.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 30, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Facebook's major redesign announcement last week has caused quite a ripple effect of media coverage, which has carried over into this week and overshadowed much of the more recent social media news. Here are a handful of the stories you might have missed.

Google+ Gets Bigger
Spurred on by the frustration many people felt about Facebook's latest round of design changes, the now-open-to-the-public Google+ made huge gains this week in terms of user numbers. According to "Google+ unofficial statistician" Paul Allen, G+ hit 50 million users faster than any other major social network.

Google+ traffic surges, closes in on MySpace, LinkedIn

G+ hit 50 million users today

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

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